My little surprise for December 10th is my favorite short film by Georges Méliès (1861 – 1938), for me one of the geniuses in the history of civilization.
I look at this clip as a metaphor for what we are aiming at with our performances as magicians, and with the most simple and commonplace of instruments, a deck of cards. I mean, it’s not a Steinway Concert Grand Piano for more than 170’000 USD, just a very good deck of cards for under 10 USD. But people like Ricky Jay, René Lavand or Juan Tamariz create a similar esthetic experience, not the same, of course, but similar, in a way. A deck of cards reminds me of Picasso, who could take just a pencil, which most use to write a shopping list, and create great art that nowadays sells for hundreds of millions… Ah, you see, that’s why FISM bestowed upon me the award for “Theory and Philosophy” 🙂
I used to show this clip for many years before my lectures, as a prologue, and I have no doubt that you will like it. For a change this is a short one, just under 3 minutes 🙂
Maybe it will motivate you to do a little research on Méliès – It’s easy, as there is quite a bit of information on the Internet, and of course in wonderfully illustrated books about his life and work, and even movies: remember Hugo, by Martin Scorsese, winner of 5 Oscars, with Ben Kingsley? And not to forget the commercially available DVD collections with many of Méliès’s works, still available for little money.
To watch Cartes by Georges Méliès CLICK HERE.